That was how Haix ended up standing before a beast hurling bolt after bolt of lighting into the metal fence that kept her from certain death, stabbing at the air clumsily with a knife and wearing tinted goggles and fuzzy pink earmuffs to dead the secondary effects of the blasts. The knife was a newer one, one that she had no questions about whether or not it would eventually kill her as it gnawed away at her to burn anything that the blade touched, and she tried to grow used to the swipes and stabbing motions that worked best with it.
She did not immediately notice as the attacks began to taper off, busy as she was alternating between swinging at motes of dust and cleaning up her armor crafted from the hide of another beast. It was only as she swung in silence for a few minutes, the waves of pressure no longer impacting her at all, that she realized something was different. 31
Naturally, when she hooked one clawed digit under the pink earmuff and cocked her head to look back at the halfbreed, he launched another bolt. The pink and fluffy blob of fabric fell back into place over her earhole, and she lowered her blade to instead focus her energy on glaring at the halfbreed. They locked eyes for what felt like an eternity, the building hum this time felt more in her bones than heard due to her ear protection, and Haix chose to merely shut her eyes hidden behind the dark lens of the goggles. He could not hurt her with that, not behind the cage walls, and he had failed to attempt any new attack that might have driven her off, or to find a way to reinforce the cage if nothing else. Yet now he staggered his attacks, launching them whenever she looked his way rather than when she was only moving around the room. 32
That was not to say he never struck out at her back, or when she was distracted by trying to balance and move around in the hide ripped from another's back. Actually getting the armor to stay on was a challenge in itself, one that led to many flashes of light as she fiddled around with it. The halfbreed inside the cage did not care about the armor or knew of her struggles with it, but he certainly had a knack for timing, a loud crackle and boom of lighting and thunder after a long period of silence enough to startle her while she was busy tugging on belts and shifting her spikes to make it a more comfortable fit.
The armor might have been important, for she was not entirely sure whether or not a creature crafted from a drake would need breaking rather than the taming the book suggested. He was showing some signs of losing interest in attacking her, due to her lack of a reaction as far as she could tell. 33
The armor had been polished and shined well enough that the bolts of lightning reflected off of its surfaces as it it were polished metal. While she did not want the armor to catch even a glimmer of light while hunting, as to avoid letting the prey know that something was moving just out of sight, it would be dusted and scratched up as soon as she tried to use it. Until then, she would leave it waiting in another room, just on the off chance the halfbreed decided to spit a glob of poison onto it.
Thankfully, he had shown no intention of doing much more than making loud noises and flashes of light, and even that was beginning to die down. Funny though how a creature related to thundergugs had never attempted to bash his way free, but then again, he was not trying to escape the cage as far as she could tell, only kill her. 34
The next few days were devoted to combat practice, to the moves illustrated in books that went beyond ambushing an opponent and slitting their throat. The halfbreed still would not eat in her presence, a boon considering how little of the vegetation remained in the cage. What had not been torn up from the soil was still browning and snapping under the weight of the halfbreed whenever he browsed, the pile of meat long gone. If he would act like the drakes, she was sure that an edge of hunger would make him a bit less willing to waste his energy on attacking her.
Until that time, for it seemed the cage had a few more days of food left if the lazy beast was not too picky, she would practice and train in hopes that he would stop attacking her sooner. She did want to train him at some point, and impossibility until she could take him to the only location the soft-skins allowed it. 35
The next day there were only a handful of unexpected blasts, the first as she entered and called out to the halfbreed with a chirp. The bolt slammed into the cage wall with all the fury of the first one, but he seemed to sag behind the bars as she resumed her usual place and paid him no heed. The next bunch were for speaking, for that was the only explanation that made sense when she chuckled at a mistake she made in a stance here or a small hiss about the soft-skins style of fighting there. There was even a few when she dared to go close to the cage, much closer than she had dared since the day she had drugged him, to talk to him as the book claimed would help.
She stood there, chattering away in the few languages she knew, curious if the beast would find one less worth blasting than the rest. If he had a preference, he gave no sign. 36
After determining that he had no interest in sparing one language over another, she just began throwing out random phrases and complaining about the stupidity of her purchasing a beast that she had known nothing about among other things in her native language. Then onto the soft-skin tongue they called Common, which was common around their kind to the point even she had picked it up. Better to speak in their language than listen to them mangle her own, though she would not bother translating her name for them.
The halfbreed did not care, and expressed his annoyance not through words but with the blasts of lightning that slammed into the wall and arced towards her, then back to the fence to the ground. The glasses and muff did their jobs well, and she remained throughout his expression of annoyance until the bolts began to slow. She waited until he had been silent for a little longer than usual, a full thirty seconds though she felt the hum, and finally left him to graze. 37
They repeated the visitation the next day, and other than a few starting bolts that slammed into the wall in quick succession, there was an increasing amount of time between each of the attacks. It got to the point that Haix risked looking at the inside of the cage with the goggles pulled up, and hissing at how little plant matter remained. It had only meant to be enough to cushion the beast, something to feed a prey animal if she tossed it into the cage before moving him to another one, but all that was left might have been just enough to feed an equillion for a day. He still attacked her, and she wanted to avoid a repeat drugging of the water as killing him that was was not her goal, but she did not see a safe way for getting a meal’s worth of food in there without him killing her.
As if to agree, another bolt slammed into the fence, blinding her for a moment as she snarled and stepped back. 38
She would let him starve for a day or two. To do otherwise would risk him, a crafted beast of all things, killing her with a bolt and wandering off to damage the soft-skin’s hive. And then some soft-skin would keep him, bragging about how dangerous he was while another would seek to enslave her by dragging her to one of the heart-eating temples that sprung up in the labs. That could not be allowed.
A lazy creature like him, watching her now as he dragged himself across the ground to the trough, might take a little more time to get truly hungry. He did not move too much in the cage when he was not grazing, his usual behavior while she was in the room was to lie down and fire blasts whenever his crafted mind told him to. If she left him alone to rot for a few days, he might be less than willing to randomly waste whatever energy the bolts required. 39
The weapons and gear are the first to be taken out of the room, as she has no intention of returning to it for the rest of the day or a good portion of the next. If the creature was willing to eat the remaining debris and few dying plants that still stubbornly stood upright, it might be another day before he would begin to feel the first pangs of hunger. He had shown no initiative to even approach the caged walls when she stood near them, always keeping his distance and only attacking with bolts rather than spit or claws, so there would be a chance that he might try eating dirt rather than try to escape. The walls were strong enough to hold even a crazed drake sarane, something that had been tested when their cages needed cleaning or general care, so she did not worry that he might find a weak point. 40
The fabric was carefully untangled from the nails jutting out from the wood that made the makeshift tent’s frame, an attempt made to prevent any new holes from being ripped through the material that was mostly successful beyond a few tears caused when Haix was surprised by another bolt. She barked a few choice words at the beast, earning herself another bolt, and lay the fabric out on the ground to inspect it. Deciding that the holes were not significant, she rolled it up into a small bundle and put it to the side. The frame was a different matter, dragged out of the room, out of the kennel as well until she found the trash heap she had taken it from. There was no bolt to greet her as she returned for the fabric, and that too was carried out of sight of the halfbreed. He alternated between watching Haix as she gathered her items, and grazing the moment she left. 41
She still checked in on him whenever she stopped by the kennel for the rest of that day, though the halfbreed rarely seemed to notice her when she did so. There was only one bolt of lightning to confirm he had even noticed her, that one do in no small part to the rough chuckling sound she made when she caught him spitting out what she hoped was an accidental mouthful of dirt. Tomorrow then would be the day that he ran out of food and really realized it, when he would begin to suffer from pangs of hunger that could be easily alleviated if he would only let her in the cage long enough to dump out a sack of food. She even had a sack of grains prepared if he proved exceptionally stubborn, with with to force through the woven fence so that he might not die. She had considered dumping it from above, but the protection the cage gave her from the electricity would not work if she was pressed against it. 42
There was not much to see when the halfbreed was checked upon. He slept, which appeared to be his most favored action, resting under the pale lights of the kennel and his body slightly curled upon the dirt. For where the cage floor had once been rife with wild and unkempt vegetation, there was only dirt and his own waste, the few stalks of dead and dying plants jutting up from the ground without another within several feet. His tail too had been picked clean of the stems and leaves that had clung to it, the trampled plants mixing with dirt whenever she sought to scoop up a mouthful of plants. There was not much left in the cage at all, and yet he still showed Haix no signs of trying to escape, no desperate attempts to free himself and get more food. Still, there would be plenty of time for him to react the next day. 43
Before retiring to the entryway of her kennel, her luxurious small bed of dry sand heated and waiting for her, she checked on him one last time. The last few stems were gone, though she could not see if they had been broken underfoot or eaten from where she stood. The halfbreed was drinking water, his head dipping into the trough as he lapped it up, and Haix cheekily wished him a good night. He froze then, head turning to look at her as she closed her eyes in expectation of the blast, then ducked his head back into the trough to continue drinking. She was almost disappointed that he had already lost interest in attacking her before he could have really begun to get hungry. If he was so well behaved in the morning, she might risk dumping the food into his cage while he slept. No reason to starve something that was obedient. 44
She did not wake up to the sound of him stomping around his cage that night, clods of dirt flying up into the air even as they muffled his footsteps. The kennel was a minor maze, and the entrance was fact enough away that she might not have heard him even if he had been pulverizing concrete with every forceful step. The sound of him leaning against the metal did not carry either as he struggled to push his way through the metal. The woven bits frayed and broke under his shoving, but the bars themselves held firm against his leaning and shoving. A bolt of lightning, his face pressed against the cage as he did so, failed to do much more than tickle his face as the cage leeched out the static energies before they could build to a deafening blast of power. The grumbles, the grunts, the sound of him running his horn gently across the bars was not enough to wake the sleeper several rooms away. 45
Silver: I use google docs for everything now because of stuff like that.
Sept 17, 2023 18:01:49 GMT -6
Riku: I had like 20 tabs open to eventually go through to add up all my character levels and copy/paste all my stuff/pets into my registry thread. When chrome updated all the tabs were gone. Oh well…
Sept 17, 2023 11:45:28 GMT -6
Riku: Muahaha! And you almost got away with it, too.
Sept 17, 2023 11:09:32 GMT -6
Silver: Oops looks like I deleted you two at the end when making an edit, fixing now!
Sept 17, 2023 5:16:05 GMT -6
Xentus: ah am i missing from the show ring?
Sept 17, 2023 2:15:25 GMT -6
Skylos: Oooh, this time I have an acid pet.
Sept 16, 2023 22:27:02 GMT -6
Fiera Ferella: Oh, good point, thanks for the reminder! :0 Gotta pick out something special for my characters, hmmmm
Sept 16, 2023 21:21:34 GMT -6
Silver: Show Ring is up! Reminder: October is Vai Min Mur and therefore a special contest! Train your shadow and acid pets in preparation. :3
Sept 16, 2023 21:14:38 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: Thanks for this allowing the change in prizes Silver, even if it was forgotten by mistake, I am very happy to get the opportunity for this particular Estharne type. <3
Sept 14, 2023 0:17:37 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: Oh yes please! Thanks for this information Silver! <3 I would need to contact the npc account then?
Sept 14, 2023 0:00:16 GMT -6
Silver: (I said 'we' a bunch of times but it was totes just me that forgot it. Oops.)
Sept 13, 2023 23:55:16 GMT -6
Silver: Hey Twilight if you want to make a change to how you spent your points now that the River is available, please DM staff. We know we messed up by forgetting to include it so if you want it more than something else you bought we could swap for you.
Sept 13, 2023 23:54:40 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: I can throw in the Pasha-Sarane Searhorse as well.
Sept 13, 2023 23:43:07 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: Is there any chance I could buy the river Estharne for 20 usd from someone? I lost the opportunity to get one last year when I forgot to buy one from the Trepuldra.
Sept 13, 2023 23:41:08 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: Now I wish I had saved some points. ;-;
Sept 13, 2023 23:33:59 GMT -6
Zenjesi: Uggggggh I wish I would've been active a month ago x-x
Sept 13, 2023 22:16:38 GMT -6
Fiera Ferella: We have a gorgeous addition to the Summer Fair prize shop- the river tiger estharne!
Sept 13, 2023 19:35:08 GMT -6
Riku: I really didn’t expect to get my two favorites of this cross. One, sure. But both? Perfect!
Sept 9, 2023 14:22:59 GMT -6
Darky: It was a fun prompt but MAN did I struggle trying to figure out how to make it actually x3
Sept 7, 2023 2:04:09 GMT -6